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The Introduction of Gymnastics and Sport by the Military: Horseracing, Society Life and Festivities – From Gallieni to Cayla (1896–1939)

Abstract : Familiar with physical activity through combat preparation, the military were instrumental in implementing first gymnastics, then sport, within the colony’s military, school and civil structures. The early propagation of sport in Madagascar resulted from the promotion of physical training by General Gallieni himself. An excellent rider, the Governor had a passion for animal husbandry and wanted the local populations to take to it. Competitions, tournament races and betting were organised to entertain the European and Malagasy population, raise money and foster horsing. The colonial elite met in very exclusive circles which jealously maintained the fences between communities. The Sport-Club, created in 1897, was Madagascar’s first civil sporting society. It was the exemplary locus of society life for Antananarivo’s European elite, offering quality facilities. The members of the sports clubs were also at the origin of the organisation and animation of great popular events such as the ‘Malagasy Children’s Day’, the essential function of which rested on the assimilation of the local populations into the ‘motherland’.
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https://hal.univ-reunion.fr/hal-01244107
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Submitted on : Tuesday, December 15, 2015 - 2:41:20 PM
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Évelyne Combeau-Mari. The Introduction of Gymnastics and Sport by the Military: Horseracing, Society Life and Festivities – From Gallieni to Cayla (1896–1939). International Journal of the History of Sport, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2011, 28 (12), pp.1586--1604. ⟨10.1080/09523367.2011.592754⟩. ⟨hal-01244107⟩

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